Tavern Brings New Life to Lacking Monroe Bar Scene
By Dani Frank
The latest addition to restaurateur Scott Beck’s stable of trendy wine and dine hot spots is not located in Connecticut’s cultural epicenter and the locale of his two other restaurants, SoNo, or even in trendy Stamford or New Haven. Head to Northern Fairfield County, and located off of Route 25, inconspicuously located between a shopping plaza and auto repair store is Beck and co-owner Derrick Lee’s latest foray into food, drink and a night out for friends and families: Tavern.
The newest reincarnation of a series of restaurants residing at 262 Main Street, Tavern arrived on July 1st, 2011and boasts a 100 car parking lot, a credit to Beck and Lee’s research of the surrounding area, to attract attention from the 33,000 cars passing it on a daily basis. After two previous restaurants, the popular Senor Pancho’s and less popular Rivalry Sports Bar, vacated the premises for various reasons, Beck knew his team would be lax to maintain the same aura and décor and declare Tavern open for business.
An original grand opening of Memorial Day was scrapped per an intensive attention to detail. “Every space has its own unique challenges,” said Beck, citing Tavern’s custom made in North Carolina doors and windows as a major source of delay. “You can never go into a place that previously failed and paint the walls,” said Beck, “It has to be a completely new experience for people.”
Design elements like the distressed leather upholstery and utterly unique bar constructed with the tops of Jack Daniels whiskey barrels, a request JD was all too happy to honor, set the bar apart as a cozy-chic go-to for beer, brats and live music. Gather around the lustrous wood of the bar and catch a game on one of the multiple TVs, and enjoy the warmth of one of Tavern’s focal points, a double-sided fireplace warming the bar and dining room.
Tavern is ideal for noshing on American nouveau cuisine, the undeniably delicious bacon, egg and cheeseburger, or gathering around the one-of-a-kind bar and enjoying a selection of over 50 bottled beers; many of them New England brewed. Grab some bar bites with your buddies; you can’t go wrong with the crispy chicken wings, made intriguing with flavors from thai chili to bourbon bbq, or the pale ale bratwurst with apple cider sauerkraut. “We wanted it to be fun and casual, a place you could go with your friends or after work with co-workers,” says co-owner Scott Beck.
Friday nights bring a nightlife aesthetic to Tavern, with a DJ spinning music appealing to a wide range of tastes for Tavern Nights. Gather around the bar and dance to “feel good music” spun by a live DJ. The popular weekly event draws a diverse crowd of revelers in search of drink specials, tunes and the rotating roster of beers on tap. Seasonal events give visitors something to look forward to and a chance to mix and mingle with other locals. “But remember,” Beck reminds readers, “we’re not a club.”
In comparison to Beck and Lee’s established eatery/lounge properties in SoNo, popular martini lounge The Loft and acclaimed Italian restaurant Match, Tavern is a wiry upstart thriving in an area that appreciates local flavors mixed with vintage polish. Beck encourages fans of Tavern to keep in touch, and to like their Facebook page. “Visit us on Facebook, we use it to keep track of what beers we have, events and let us know what you think,” said Beck. “We want to make sure Tavern is exciting.”
262 Main Street
Monroe, CT 06468
Dani Frank is a fashion, travel and culture enthusiast and writer living in Easton, Connecticut. A recent graduate of Hofstra University, she is most happy when traversing the East Coast and beyond and documenting it all for curious readers. Read her further work at http://offmanhattan.com/author/danielle-frank/